During the pandemic, no major film festival was all shook up more than Cannes, forced to cancel the 2020 event and shifting dates to mid-summer for an overstocked comeback event the following year. Now, this all-important showcase for global art cinema looks to be finding its feet again, thanks to a diverse lineup that includes everything from Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” to the directorial debut of Presley’s real-life granddaughter, Riley Keough, whose “Beast” (co-directed by Gina Gammell) is set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Sounding optimistic at the press conference on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, artistic director Thierry Frémaux announced new films from George Miller (“Three Thousand Years of Longing”), David Cronenberg (“Crimes of the Future”), Kelly Reichardt (”Showing Up”) and James Gray (“Armageddon Time”) in the official selection.
Accompanied by outgoing festival president Pierre Lescure, Frémaux announced the opening film, Michel Hazanvicius’ “Final Cut,” which had originally been selected for Sundance, but was pulled after that festival went virtual amid a mid-January surge of the Omicron variant. (The year before the pandemic, Cannes opened with another zombie comedy, Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die.”)
Frémaux also confirmed the world premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” alongside a tribute to Tom Cruise, on the second day of the festival, which is scheduled to take place again in person from May 17-28. Joining “Elvis” in celebrating 20th-century rock legends are two music-focused features: Ethan Coen’s out-of-competition doc “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind” and “Moonage Daydream,” a montage-driven midnight-movie tribute to David Bowie from Brett Morgen in the vein of his Kurt Cobain film.
The competition lineup includes new work from several returning Palme d’Or winners: Ruben Östlund’s social satire “Triangle of Sadness,” Japanese helmer Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Korea-set “Broker,” Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s politically charged “RMN” and Belgian duo the Dardenne brothers’ immigrant-focused “Tori and Lokita.”
Last year, as a way of (prematurely) celebrating the end of the pandemic, the official lineup swelled to 80 titles, whereas just 49 were announced at the press conference — though Frémaux indicated that a few more would follow next week. Additions are likely to include more films by women, possibly even some from Africa. During the presser, Fremaux suggested it had been a challenging year for the selection committee due to the large number of films submitted — above 2,200 films — and the fact that many came in very late. He said the level of movies submitted used to always be below 2,000 titles before the pandemic.
Although the pandemic isn’t over and many countries are currently undergoing a spike in infections, Fremaux said “the world cinema landscape is starting to get back in shape and this year marks a return to a quasi normality.”
Fremaux also pointed out the jury will be announced after the Official Selection and not the other way around as in previous years. He suggested the delay in assembling the jury was due to talent availability.
“These days, artists are working for the film industry but not only,” Frémaux said. “They are also working on other formats and it’s interesting to see … the industry bouncing back.”
The latest industry chatter are suggests that two-time Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been approached to preside over the jury. Penelope Cruz, who was previously being discussed as a potential jury president, is expected to hit the Croisette for “L’Immensita” which could be a late addition to the competition.
Cannes has been criticized in recent years for not recognizing and boosting female talent, falling egregiously short of its gender-parity pledge with the advocacy org 5050×2020 (which is now aptly called 50:50 Future). This year’s lineup includes just three films in competition by women: In addition to Reichardt, French directors Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (“Forever Young”) and fresh-from-Berlin Claire Denis (“Stars at Noon”) stand a shot at the Palme. It’s worth noting that women won the top prize at all the major festivals in the last year — Cannes (“Titane”), Venice (”Happening” and “Power of the Dog”), Toronto (“Yuni”), Berlin (“Alcarràs” and “Both Sides of the Blade”) and Sundance (”The Nanny”) — suggesting that the Palme could well go to one of these three.
There are no first features in competition this year, although Camera d’Or winner Lukas Dhont (“Girl”) will screen his second feature, “Close,” alongside 83-year-old veteran Jerzy Skolimowski (“Deep End”), whose film “Eo” focuses on a donkey. Two Ukrainian filmmakers, Sergei Loznitsa (“The Natural History of Destruction”) and Maksim Nakonechnyi (“Butterfly Vision”), have been invited, along with one Russian, dissident director Kirill Serebrennikov, in competition with “Tchaïkovski’s Wife.”
Besides the anticipated North American films in the out-of-competition lineup, there are also a few stars-packed French movies in the mix, including Cedric Jimenez’s “November” with Jean Dujardin, Anais Demoustier and Sandrine Kimberlain, and Nicolas Bedos’ “Masquerade” with Isabelle Adjani and Pierre Niney. Jimenez and Bedos previously presented “The Stronghold” and “La Belle Epoque,” respectively, in the out-of-competition section.
2022 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
“Armageddon Time,” James Gray (U.S.)
“Boy From Heaven,” Tarik Saleh (Sweden)
“Broker,” Kore-eda Hirokazu (Japan)
“Brother and Sister” OR “Frère et Sœur,” Arnaud Desplechin (France)
“Close,” Lucas Dhont (Belgium)
“Crimes of the Future,” David Cronenberg (Canada)
“Decision to Leave” OR “Haeojil Gyeolsim,” Park Chan-Wook (S. Korea)
“Eo” OR “Hi-Han,” Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland)
“Forever Young” OR “Les Amandiers,” Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (France)
“Holy Spider,” Ali Abbasi (Iran)
“Leila’s Brothers,” Saeed Roustaee (Iran)
“Nostalgia,” Mario Martone (Italy)
“RMN,” Cristian Mungiu (Romania)
“Showing Up,” Kelly Reichardt (U.S.)
“Stars at Noon,” Claire Denis (France)
“Tchaïkovski’s Wife,” Kirill Serebrennikov (Russia)
“Tori and Lokita,” Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne (Belgium)
“Triangle of Sadness,” Ruben Östlund (Sweden)
UN CERTAIN REGARD
“All the People I’ll Never Be” OR “Retour à Séoul,” Davy Chou (Cambodia)
“Beast,” Riley Keough and Gina Gammell (U.S.)
“Burning Days,” Emin Alper (Turkey)
“Butterfly Vision,” Maksim Nakonechnyi (Ukraine)
“Corsage,” Marie Kruetzer (Austria)
“Domingo and the Mist,” Ariel Escalante Meza (Costa Rica)
“Godland,” Hlynur Pálmason (Iceland)
“Joyland,” Saim Sadiq (Pakistan)
“Metronom,” Alexandru Belc (Romania)
“Plan 75,” Hayakawa Chie (Japan)
“Rodeo,” Lola Quivoron (France)
“Sick of Myself,” Kristoffer Borgli (Norway)
“The Silent Twins,” Agnieszka Smocynska (Poland)
“The Stranger,” Thomas M. Wright (Australia)
“The Worst” OR “Les Pires,” Lise Akora and Romane Gueret (France)
OUT OF COMPETITION
“Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann (U.S.-Australia)
“Final Cut” OR “Z (Comme Z),” Michel Hazanvicius (France) — OPENER
“Mascarade,” Nicolas Bedos (France)
“November,” Cédric Jimenez (France)
“Three Thousand Years of Longing,” George Miller (Australia)
“Top Gun: Maverick,” Joseph Kosinski (U.S.)
“Fumer fait tousser,” Quentin Dupieux (France)
“Hunt,” Lee Jung-Jae (S. Korea)
“Moonage Daydream,” Brett Morgen (U.S.)
“All That Breathes,” Shaunak Sen (India)
“The Natural History of Destruction,” Sergei Loznitsa (Ukraine)
“Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind,” Ethan Coen (U.S.)
“Dodo,” Panos H. Koutras (Greece)
“Irma Vep,” Olivier Assayas (France)
“Nightfall,” Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
“Nos Frangins,” Rachid Bouchareb (France)